back to article Hells door-bells! Ring pieces paralyzed in horror during Halloween trick-or-treat rush

The so-called smart doorbell maker Ring has just suffered an outage on the one day of the year that its internet-reliant products get the heaviest treatment. Reg reader Aidan Padden alerted us to Tuesday night's downtime in the UK – which came at the height of Halloween door-knocking by trick-or-treaters – although it appears …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Pint

    The headline editor is absolute gold! More candy for him!

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Coat

      Although due to the Reformation celebrations in Germany, we didn't get any visitors last night, so the kitchen at work is now full of candy!

      Mine's the one full of Maoam!

  2. David 132 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Well done, IoT wanksters...

    ...you've managed to take one of the simplest devices in human history (whether it be a bell on a spring, a buzzer on a simple electrical circuit, or even just a rope tied round a goat's 'nads) and give it a central point of failure. Bravo.

    What next? The "iWheel" which gives you up to the second reports on how many times it's rotated, but turns square and refuses to roll if it can't connect to Azure?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Well done, IoT wanksters...

      A doorbell that doesn't work because a server 20,000 km away has gone TITSUP?

      What a time to be alive.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Well done, IoT wanksters...

      Hmm I think we need to modify the old saying:

      The "S" in IoT is for security...

      We should add:

      The "R" in IoT is for resilience.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Well done, IoT wanksters...

        And the "Id" in IoT is for those who spend money on the tat.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        "The "R" in IoT is for resilience."

        Excellent.

  3. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Hmm ...

    I too have a somebody-is-at-the-door-demanding-money-with-menaces notification device.

    It consists of a piece of specially cast, high mass alloy pivoted about a horizontal axis located at the top edge of the unit, which also attaches it to a mounting plate of the same alloy.

    It is operated by manually adding potential energy to the system for a short period of time, and then using gravity to reset it to a state of equilibrium by converting the potential energy firstly to kinetic energy and then pressure waves in the surrounding air.

    These pressure waves are perceived by myself as sound, alerting me to the potential visitor, assuming I am sufficiently close to the device.

    It's a brass door knocker depicting the head of a lion that is, for some unexplained reason, chewing a teething ring. I like to believe the designer was nominated for a No-bell prize...

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Hmm ...

      You should patent that!

      Just add the word mobile in there somewhere and the Patent Office will wave it through.

      You could also add a remote viewing device, consisting of an optical device set in the mass of the door.

      1. thomn8r

        Re: Hmm ...

        ..and the terms "cloud" and "AI"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm ...

      I like to believe the designer was nominated for a No-bell prize...

      LOL. Quality.

    3. Ralph the Wonder Llama
      Coat

      Re: Your device may be criticised by some...

      ...but there will always be knockers.

    4. Camilla Smythe

      Re: Hmm ...

      When I first started to read your patent description, "Somebody-is-at-the-door-demanding-money-with-menaces notification device." I just knew that you were going to offer the prior art of an anvil on a shelf tied to a bit of rope... then I remembered it was not April 1st.

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Hmm ...

        " the prior art of an anvil on a shelf tied to a bit of rope."

        Perhaps if it was Wiley.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Natalie Gritpants

        Re: Hmm ...

        I have a dog. I get notified before the visitor has entered the garden by the floor shaking so even deaf people are covered.

        1. sabba

          Re: Hmm ...

          You're lucky. Our dogs usually respond before any possible caller has even entered our driveway (and often before they have even entered the street - or thought about setting off to call on us).

          1. Pedigree-Pete
            Pint

            Re: Hmm ...

            I for 1 sympathise with you. Sabba. Our aging Collie now seems to make up things to bark at. Hey ho. Sometimes she's right, there is someone there and we have a bloody big ships bell at the door no-one uses. Tsk. PP

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm ...

      Knock Knock

      Who's there?

      Avon lady: your doorbell's busted.

    7. Andy the ex-Brit

      Re: Hmm ...

      Ok, but where is the electomagnetic hold mechanism to prevent it from being operated if it can't connect to the server?

  4. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Unhappy

    So

    World Wide extends all the way from the American west coast to Europe. Presumably in an easterly direction, otherwise it wont include actual inland USA.

    I guess that will be a shock to all those USA-ian "World Champions", but unlikely to ruffle their equanimity for long as they have border protection agencies to keep out the rabble.

    For those of us apparently living outside the world, if only we really were outside the reach of culturally inappropriate blatant mass marketing exercises pretending to be seasonal festivals...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      "if only we really were outside the reach of culturally inappropriate blatant mass marketing exercises pretending to be seasonal festivals..."

      Humans are social animals. It seems part of our nature to have festivals where communities dress in a special way, share special food, and have ritual behaviours. The dates are specific -and often linked to particular seasonal changes. At least one of these events seems to specifically be to enjoy a sense of fun and fear.

      While the props may be consumer items - the way they are presented by the individual encourages degrees of creativity.

      In my experience it is also interesting that it is rare for a child of any age to take more than one chocolate bar from the offered cornucopia.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: So

        At least one of these events seems to specifically be to enjoy a sense of fun and fear.

        Is that the one where we nail a bloke to a tree while eating chocolate eggs?

        Halloween and Black Friday Sales are American cultural phenomena I can do with out. At least the latter doesn't come knocking on my door trying to force me to be part of the unwanted experience.

        I encourage everyone to remind parents there may be paedos and worse behind every door. That way, when those parents accompany their children on the Night of Extortion, telling Timmy and Tabitha they are victims of commercial exploitation gets to where it needs to go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          "Halloween and Black Friday Sales are American cultural phenomena I can do with out. At least the latter doesn't come knocking on my door trying to force me to be part of the unwanted experience."

          Well they have to make up stuff to cover for no past to look to.

          When you only have 250 years of history (after killing the incumbent tribes) and the most exiting bit is a war with your founders country or thanking some of that country's Puritans for getting on board a boat from Plymouth (UK), any chance to seize a day and name it becomes an event

        2. sabba

          Re: So

          Same applies to Valentine's day. Can someone have a word with my wife? :-)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          " At least the latter doesn't come knocking on my door trying to force me to be part of the unwanted experience."

          It is my understanding that in the UK there is a generally accepted rule that houses are marked as "eligible" by exhibiting some external Halloween decoration. It would be unproductive for the kids to try every house in the hope of a response. Out of the forty or so houses in my street only two of us announced we were "eligible". Apart from the various neighbours' children my visitors were all well behaved strangers.

          Unusually there were two groups of 13-15 year olds as well as the pre-teen groups with adults. There is no discernible risk for the children that I can see - beyond the rare extremes that can happen anywhere at any time.

        4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: So

          Halloween and Black Friday Sales are American cultural phenomena

          Well - strictly speaking, halloween is a Catholic religious festival that has it's origins in the Celtic Samhain (also see the various other end-of-autumn festivals in the Germanic and Latin worldview) celebrating the end of harvest (and the time when surplus livestock would be slaughtered and preserved for winter eating..

          But yes, the obnoxious "trick or treat" stuff is strictly American. Who else would glorify extortion and demanding with menaces?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: So

      We could always employ the centuries old tradition of mischief night around your house if you prefer, no commercialisation required.

  5. john.jones.name

    Ring has a terrible architecture

    its hardware is badly understood within the company and whoever depends on internet access to allow video within the house is simply nuts

    get a clue dont use ring...

  6. wallaby

    Advertise you are out

    I fail to see how a device that is advertised on the TV to all and sundry as a tool to answer your doorbell when you are out makes you safer, when the person answering is heard with a number 19 bus thundering past or "all cashiers to the checkouts" booming from an overhead speaker its a dead giveaway you are far from being on the premises.

    As an option for lazy arses who cba to get up and answer the door - yes, but trying to tout this as a security feature.

    The outage is the biggest fail since that crap actor pretending to be a parcel delivery drone on the ads.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Advertise you are out

      "crap actor pretending to be a parcel delivery drone on the ads."

      I wouldn't see such an ad. What made it crap? Did he actually deliver parcels?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Advertise you are out

        "What made it crap? Did he actually deliver parcels?"

        The actor knocked on the door and waited while carefully handling the parcel. No attempt was made to throw it over a fence, onto a roof, squeeze it through the letterbox or pass it to a random stranger when the door was not instantly answered.

        Definitely needs to brush up on his method acting.

    2. WallMeerkat

      Re: Advertise you are out

      Don't forget the crap actor who tilts her head when the ne'er-do-well tries to ring the doorbell, and keeps her head tilted watching him on her smartphone until he leaves her leafy suburban mansion driveway.

  7. macjules Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    How to handle terrorists ..

    I had several dozen confectionary insurgents attack my residence last night, one of them quite well dressed up as Donald Trump, plus a number of 'Haribo Horrors'. This year we got away with minor financial damage, considering the number of extortion threats.

    I was intending at some point to install a door/alarm system, but my guess is that by next year enough 7 year olds will know "Alexa, open the front door' off by heart, or the equivalent for Apple or Google.

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    I know it's apocryphal ...

    but the old canard about NASAs $1,000,000 space pen versus the Russian pencil still applies.

    (If my memory is correct, the real incident was based around the docking camera. NASA built a joystick operated PTZ camera whilst the Soviets used a mirror on a stick).

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I know it's apocryphal ...

      Pretty much the last thing you want floating around a space station would be a fleck of conductive graphite from a pencil.

      A wax crayon would work much better.

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I know it's apocryphal ...

        Though we should note that it was a pair of Russians who discovered graphene. Using sticky tape.

        BTW it would be very hard to do some things in biology such as making transgenic or knockout mice without blutak. Experiments in my PhD which involved a de Fonbrune microforge also included some plasticine rolled into a thin pancake in a Petri dish. No means to plug the filling end of my slow release glass capsules of tetrodotoxin and no live embryo (and probably no live mother either).

        My PhD also used heroic quantities of sellotape backed up with masking tape. The mundane can be vital.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: I know it's apocryphal ...

          "My PhD also used heroic quantities of sellotape backed up with masking tape. The mundane can be vital."

          HA! Engineering candidates make use of duct tape!

      2. JimmyPage Silver badge

        Re: the last thing you want floating around a space station

        Which was what NASA pointed out ... hence the work to find an alternative (which I think ended up being the Papermate pen with the heart that could write upside down).

        Agree about the crayon.

      3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: I know it's apocryphal ...

        The Russians use(d) grease pencils, not graphite ones.

      4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: I know it's apocryphal ...

        "

        Pretty much the last thing you want floating around a space station would be a fleck of conductive graphite from a pencil.

        "

        If any systems on the space station could be adversely affected by conductive dust or flecks floating around in the habitable section, then they are extremely badly designed.

  9. Blacklight
    FAIL

    Le sigh...

    "Let's all think of the clever, and not think of the function...."

    Yes, it might put up a bit of cost, but how hard is it to also incorporate a remote sounder, like most wireless doorbells? Or even some local (encrypted) storage, so it can take/store pics of people who did come to the door?

    If your internet backhaul is down, isn't the result going to be the same? At least Hue & Lightwave etc continue working with whatever settings they have been given, if the cloud goes down. My home automation system uses a cloud UI to configure, but once it's got it's config. it doesn't need the internet.

    Failover modes people, failover modes....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Le sigh...

      "Failover modes people, failover modes...."

      My home system has an infrared beam to detect anyone approaching the door. The wired doorbell is also repeated several times by a 433MHz link throughout the house and garden.

      For Halloween these act as separate triggers to start the computer controlled displays with all the classic tropes: thunder and lightning; organ chord; striking clock; heartbeats, chainsaw.

      Last night a small child managed to pass through the beam in a way that was dismissed by its algorithm as "noise". They couldn't reach the doorbell push - so they tapped on the door. Luckily there was a manual override button which was used in testing.

  10. DougS Silver badge

    There are cloud connected doorbells?

    Who the F is dumb enough to buy something like that?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A doorbell that needs an internet connection and a connection to a server to work? Lunacy I tell you.

    Are all those IoT thermostats knocking about going to go down this winter or is it about to get hot?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Are all those IoT thermostats knocking about going to go down this winter or is it about to get hot?"

      I know someone who has those individual radiator thermostats fitted. They work on batteries. The first one has just failed owing to frequent cycling causing the batteries to last only a couple of weeks. We're heading for a situation in which your central heating can go down due to a server on the other side of the world or a shortage of batteries locally.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Electricity the bane of central heating .. your central heating can go down due to a power cut.

        Combi boilers, as the UK forces on you these days, are such a "wonderful" idea, a gas heating system, but if electricity fails then the gas heating system will not work

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          tiggity,

          Gas central heating of most types requires electricity. The controls are electric, and more importantly, so are the circulating pumps.

          Now your stored hot water will work without (until it runs out), so long as there's electricity for the water company to keep pumping mains water at you. There, you do have an advantage over a combi-boiler, which heats the water as you use it.

          Although thinking about it, the UK doesn't force combi-boilers on anyone - do you actually mean condensing boilers?

        2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          "but if electricity fails then the gas heating system will not work"

          Indeed, so being the kind of self reliant type I am, I have a couple of log burners, one in the front room, and one in the lounge, and they keep those rooms toasty, and the rest of the house bearable. I've only had to rely on them solely once, when the old boiler blew a control board.

          I'm so not on board with the IoT for providing basic needs, such as warmth. Worst case scenario, and there's a power cut, and I have no coal, or logs (doubtful, as I have two large bins for coal that usually last me through winter, and several log stores) I have a large axe, and a local park where there are trees (and usually enough fallen wood to collect, before I'd have to start felling anything)

          Hell, I went to see Ray Mears last night, he was demonstrating fire lighting techniques adventurers have used for centuries, but we've abandoned the 'KISS' principle and now have made some simple things excessively complicated.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            My back up is a gas powered heater in the garage. I also have a plethora of torches and lanterns.

            Always be prepared I say.

            1. Martin 66

              The real thing to worry about is not electricity not being available, its gas. We still have many gas fired power stations, as well as all most of our central heating being based on gas. And the single pipeline to Europe, is in Ukraine and at Russia's mercy......

              We also only have about a week's supply stored, so any gas outage during winter means we wouldn't last very long indeed, esp if people started trying to use electric heaters instead.

              Better chop some wood, for the burner.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Martin 66,

                Your info on UK gas supplies is completely wrong. I did a quick bit of googling to get some figures, and this looks like a decent link.

                So firstly we have over 3 months of stored gas at the beginning of the winter drawdown period, but that storage can only be withdrawn at a certain rate - as it's a long term store. So I don't know what they've got in the way of emergency storage - but the on demand short term storage seems to have about 10% of the capacity of that one, so I'd imagine that's where your week's capacity figure comes from.

                However, we draw 40% of our gas supply from the UK bit of the North Sea. And that's from multiple platforms and pipelines, which makes it pretty robust.

                The linked page doesn't show it, but iirc our next biggest source of supply is Norway's bit of the North Sea.

                We then have several LNG terminals in the UK and so are able to buy liquefied gas from the US and Qatar, amongst other places. This can obviously be bought at short notice should we suffer a supply interruption.

                As I remember Russian gas via Europe is probably the smallest component of our supply mix. You are correct that most of this comes from Russia, although there are supplies coming in from Libya as well I think. Also there are 2 main Russian pipelines - as there's Nordstream through the Baltic which the Germans and Russians built in order to be able to bypass Ukrainian supplies in case of disputes.

                It also bypassed our allies in Eastern Europe, but belatedly the Germans showed concern about this, and the EU's common energy policy means it's now connected up in a grid so that supply can be shuffled around to help those countries closest to Russian gas - who naturally are most reliant on it.

                Because of Russia's unreliability Europe is also investing in more LNG capacity, so that gas can be bought into this network, if required. Many other countries have higher stocks than us, partly because it makes more sense to have smaller capacity pipelines and store locally, but also because they don't produce 40% of their demand from domestic sources.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "My back up is a gas powered heater in the garage. I also have a plethora of torches and lanterns.

              Always be prepared I say."

              Clearly from the UK

              Otherwise the list would also include

              10 assault rifles,

              10 handguns,

              10,000 rounds of ammunition

              10 crossbows

              5 years worth of tinned food.

              Water recycling units

              A fully equipped bunker.......

            3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

              Re: torches and lanterns.

              .. I've been looking at old fashioned storm lanterns, which are a snip at about four quid each on Ebay. Just need a decent bulk source of non-smelly lamp oil. Or is paraffin OK to use indoors nowadays? I remember my granddad had a paraffin heater to stop his greenhouse getting frost, and it was a bit smelly.

            4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Why not just trip all the consumer unit switches apart from the one leading to your boiler controls and stick a UPS in-line with your boiler control supply?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > A doorbell that needs an internet connection and a connection to a server to work? Lunacy I tell you.

      It is much more than just a doorbell - it is a webcam with remote viewing access.

      In Part 2 we discuss the lunacy of people with legs getting in a metal box to get from A to B.

      1. sabba

        Getting a metal box to travel from A to B makes sense since it (a) enables you to travel faster/farther, and (b) allows you to carry a greater payload. Using a device to enable you to answer the door when you are not there seems a little like a solution looking for a problem. Assuming it's a miscreant. What next? Ok, it can take a photo but that's the domain of a security system (I have no problem with that) but why link it to your doorbell? KISS

  12. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Terminator

    Ring the door bell...

    Sorry Dave, I can't do that. What do i look like? A door bell? Oh...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Ring the door bell...

      I just had a Red Dwarf moment...

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Ring the door bell...

        Really? I was going for a HAL9000 reference...

  13. 0laf Silver badge

    Really it's just not a good idea to put the internet on everything.

    I love bacon but it doesn't go with absolutely everything, a fruit trifle is nice as it is it is not improved with bacon.

    Many things are not improved with the internet. Especially if they can be bricked like this.

    A big brass/iron door knocker works very well without the internet. If you want an IP camera with that fair enough. If the camera goes down the big hunk of metal will continue to function.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "a fruit trifle is nice as it is it is not improved with bacon."

      A sprinkling of crunchy smoked bacon "crumbs" on top would not be an unreasonable combination of textures and flavours.

      Bacon ice cream exists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fallacy.

        There is *nothing* that cannot be improved with the addition of bacon and that includes bacon itself.

        Plus a refreshing beverage to wash it all down.

        https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Covered-Maple-Smoked-Soda/dp/B00BONNM84

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        @AC Bacon ice cream exists.

        As do Buttered Mashed Potato and Gravy and Spiced Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Pie ice-cream flavours.

        Mmmmmm!

        https://saltandstraw.com/flavors/

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: 0laf

      Blasphemy! Heretic!

      I know a vegetarian that eats bacon when she thinks no one is around...

  14. ukgnome

    I had to read this article several times, google the stupid bloody doorbell.

    Why does a doorbell have to be internet enabled. What kind of tomfuckery is that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why does a doorbell have to be internet enabled. What kind of tomfuckery is that."

      Not a doorbell, but Internet-enabled electric gates, CCTV and bell can be a real boon to farmers. However, I suspect those systems are rather better designed.

      1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

        None of them need to be internet connected, they may need to be networked, there is a difference.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Not a doorbell, but Internet-enabled electric gates, CCTV and bell can be a real boon to farmers."

        My brother in law had all those when the internet was all fields.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Why does a doorbell have to be internet enabled. What kind of tomfuckery is that.

      It serves two purposes as near as I can figure out. 1) The owner of one feel "cool" and "high tech"... probably wears a man bun. 2) Profit for the manufacturer and stockholders. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out which is the more important purpose.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Read the story and thought...

    Hahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    But what does this teach us.

    People use the the internet like a utility with 99.999% availability. It's not.

    Server based systems are complex and need lots of capacity testing for edge events (But in principal high doorbell use during all public holidays celebrated in many countries at once is predictable).

    Failover modes. Internet dies. Internet or servers die system runs straight and level (probably going to be needed as more companies go belly up and the hardware is bricked).

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Read the story and thought...

      Don't be silly - all IoT stuff I've seen so far has clearly defined failover built right in. Specifically, if connectivity fails then usability is over...

  16. AustinTX
    Facepalm

    Internet Of Spying Devices

    See, I understand the part where Ring and other IoT device hawkers spy on their customers to produce statistics to sell to other, more shadowy players.

    What I don't abide in is how they lobotomized their devices so thoroughly that they don't merely send stats from the devices - the devices have to send out a signal and receive instructions from the server on how to ring the bell. That's pathetic!

  17. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Mushroom

    If somebody gives me a "smart doorbell" for Xmas

    I will unfriend them with extreme prejudice

    Ring is like an earthly outpost of Sirius Cybernetics, by the sound of it

  18. mrslappy

    My Doorbell Backend

    My doorbell backend is located in our hallway, and is connected to its front-end by a length of bell wire.

    I am proud to report that it has achieved 100% continuous uptime since the day it was installed 15 years ago. Why would I want anything different?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Doorbell Backend

      because err smartphone stupid....durrrr.

  19. Chris King Silver badge
    Coat

    I can't believe we've got this many comments on this...

    ...without someone making the obvious "unintentional DDoS [1]* attack" comment.

    [1] In this case DDoS = Distributed Denial of Sweeties

    Mine's the one with the big bag of Haribo Sugar-free Gummy Bears, for the teenagers demanding confectionery with menaces. The ones forged in the fires of Hell, which will turn your digestive system into a sulphurous pit with random lava-hot eruptions...

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Halloween and door bells...

    So the door bell died. Meh...no loss on Halloween. Around here, the little beggers pound on the door and scream "trick or treak" at the top of their lungs and ignore the door bell.

    Then again, I have a mouthy, barky, critter who takes great pride in letting us know if any even approaches the front door. Now that I think about... why do I even have a door bell?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Halloween and door bells...

      Around here we got a succession of nice, polite little children in groups with mummies watching from a safe distance.

      In other news, house prices here went up over 14% last year.

      Burglar alarms? We watch out for our neighbours.

      I'm not boasting, just very aware that we are rapidly becoming two interleaved countries. And it's going to get worse.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Halloween and door bells...

        "Around here we got a succession of nice, polite little children in groups with mummies watching from a safe distance."

        Why should zombies and vampires get all the candy?!? I find this completely arbitrary discrimination against mummy costumes thoroughly disturbing!

  21. kburgoyne

    I left Alexa on the front porch with the expectation that every time a kid said "Trick or Treat" an Amazon driver would rush up and give them candy. I was shocked to discover my Alexa smashed to bits in the morning. Ungrateful bunch of kids!!!

  22. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Are you saying that if the severs at Tat Central fail this IoT doorbell will not even ring in the house when the button is pressed?

    What sort of idiot would buy such a f*ckiing unfit-for-purpose technology?

  23. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Technology is de-improving

    Well over a decade ago I bought a webcam. It streamed directly to the remote viewer without passing through any intermediate server. Which seems to me to be the most sensible way of achieving the objective in any application where you are not expecting more than 1 or 2 people to need to view the output at the same time.

  24. kburgoyne

    What the world is coming to...

    Halloween night. Door bell rings. Homeowner checks camera to see who it is. Really?

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